Agriculture
Berggren Demonstration Farm

Most agricultural land in the McKenzie Watershed is located in close proximity to the river. Numerous U.S. Geological Survey studies show that pesticides and nutrients occur more frequently, and at higher concentrations, at monitoring sites located in agricultural areas. Agricultural pollutants increase water treatment costs and pose a risk to public health.

Farms are an important watershed resource

EWEB, however, recognizes that farms are a critically important resource in the watershed. They:

  • Produce food and other important products
  • Provide a livelihood for farmers
  • Are a preferred land use to subdivisions and other development adjacent to the river
How EWEB supports farming

EWEB has developed or participates in several initiatives designed to help farms to become more economically viable so that the land continues to be used for this purpose, rather than being sold off for development.

The programs listed below are designed to encourage farmers to reduce chemical use where possible, as pesticides and fertilizers can run off of the land and into the river during rain events. EWEB's drinking water treatment plant, like most other conventional facilities, was not designed to treat for these types of chemicals.

Healthy Farms Clean Water program

The Healthy Farms Clean Water program offers farmers opportunities ranging from free soil sampling to free agricultural chemical disposal.

Local Food Connection

EWEB is a founding sponsor of the Local Food Connection, an annual food networking event held at Lane Community College. The purpose of the event is for producers, buyers and distributors to network and share ideas related to local food production.

Agricultural chemical collection project

EWEB and other agencies in 2006 received a grant to collect unwanted or obsolete chemicals being stored on farms and other agricultural property in the McKenzie River and Middle Fork Willamette watersheds.

More recently, EWEB has assisted McKenzie farmers through the Healthy Farms Clean Water program and made free disposal options available in partnership with Lane County Waste Management.

Additionally, EWEB, Springfield Utility Board, Lane County Waste Management and Oregon State University Extension Service held a "last chance" chemical collection event in early spring 2012 to give farmers throughout Lane County one more opportunity to dispose of unwanted/unused chemicals. Another 27,000 pounds of chemicals were collected.

Questions?

Email us for more information, or call Nancy Toth at 541-685-7438 or Karl Morgenstern at 541-685-7365.